The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, April 19, 2007
MSG Maariv: What Would Superfeldman Do?
I was feeling pretty good as the second period of last night's Rangers vs. T(h)rashers game came to an end. Along with Judah H, I was at Madison Square Garden in center ice seats purchased just before the opening faceoff. Brendan Shanahan's fantastic goal late in the period had tied the game at 2, and the Rangers were in middle of a power play, with the momentum having shifted in their favor despite rather mediocre play and rather terrible officiating.
Alas, my excitement was tempered when a young man wearing a kippa approached to tell us that there would be a maariv minyan outside Gate 66. There were 15 minutes left in the intermission, and I was concerned that I would miss, God forbid, part of the third period.
And I had one other concern.
What would superfeldman do?
Not nearly as pious as superfeldman, I reserved my zealotry for the game and decided to walk to Gate 66 for maariv. I figured that someone required to say the kaddish prayer for a deceased relative needed to organize the minyan, and didn't judge the person unfavorably for going to a hockey game despite the risk that a minyan might be hard to find.
I quickly walked toward Gate 66, and could see that 6 or 7 frum men were congregated, but not yet 10. With the line for beer surprisingly short, I therefore was able to purchase a 22 ounce mug of Bass Ale (Utz kosher pretzel included) without missing baruchu.
It turns out that nobody said kaddish after maariv. More than 15 people joined the davening, which I found to be quite uncomfortable if not inappropriate. I did not like it when passersby wondered aloud "what the f*** are these guys doing" during shema. Nor when the security guard asked us to move someplace else to clear a path just as we started shemonah esrei.
On a positive note, my beer did not spill despite the habitual shuckling that I carefully kept to a minimum. Thanks to the minyan, I kept my sefiras haomer streak alive. I made it back to section 123 before the third period started. And the third period was filled with all the excitement and anxiety of playoff hockey, until the Rangers finally won and ended the series.
Does all of this mean that davening at MSG is okay?
I don't know. That's a question only superfeldman could possibly answer.